Fans of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein won’t be able to help but fall headfirst into this exceedingly creative fusion of the two classic novels’ worlds ... Even the most morbidly curious will not be disappointed.
It’s a carefully thought-out crossover that shines with affection for both its sources, one that never goes for the cheap joke when it can go for the gut punch ... As Kessel’s attention to Mary’s perspective wanes, Pride and Prometheus also stops insisting firmly on the idea that the Creature’s mate might have an agenda and a sense of self outside of the Creature’s, making the novel’s climax a lot less interesting than it might have been. But the closing pages, and the ending they suggest for Mary, are nearly satisfying enough to make up for that.
This is a fine, measured novel, deeply interested in the social conditions and conventions of its setting, and deeply interested, too, in human nature and human frailty ... This is an interesting book, a meditation on human nature and human nurture ... Readers who have low tolerance for unreliable narrators and self-absorbed men may find Pride and Prometheus an unrewarding read. But it is a measured and compelling narrative, and one that interrogates its influences from interesting angles. I enjoyed it. You might, too.
Beyond the what-could-have-beens, what makes the book interesting is that, for the most part, it reads like a modernized version of a comedy of manners as well as a gothic novel. Far from being forced, the crossover is easy to accept because Kessel uses the formats and textual cues of both genres ... Kessel sets his readers’ expectations and then twists them as far as he can go—and then just a little bit further ... We know how it ends, and yet we keep reading anyway because the way Kessel gets us there is just so much fun. And because we want to believe that there is a chance, even a small one, that Kessel might change his mind and that things might turn out differently.
Kessel (The Moon and the Other) makes an ambitious attempt to cross Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but this expansion of his Nebula-winning 2008 novelette falls short ... The prose and characterization are neither as witty nor as clever as one would expect given the book’s antecedents. Readers hoping for a provocative or transformative work will be left unsatisfied.